1. I Deserve a Pat on the Back

Every month or two, I write down my accomplishments, big and small—I raised awesome children, I make a kick-ass vegetable stew—to remember that I've done pretty well so far; sometimes I can cut myself some slack.

2. Alone Time Is Valuable

During my 20s, I was embarrassed to eat at a restaurant by myself or go to the movies solo. But now a quiet lunch at a café with just me and a book or my laptop is a luxury—nobody knows where I am, so it feels like I'm playing hooky.

3. Take It Outside

We all find different ways to calm our nerves. For me, it can mean taking a walk to admire the colors of leaves and smell the sagebrush. When I tune into the marvels of nature, I worry much less about tomorrow.

4. All Work and No Play? Not for Me

I didn't grow up in a family that liked to have fun, so as I've gotten older, I've learned to embrace spontaneity. My boyfriend helps me see that life doesn't have to be static. At 53, I jump on trampolines and pull over on country roads to explore.

5. Don't Ignore Your Gut

A school once asked me to give a talk about my grandfather [Ernest Hemingway]. I never met him, so it didn't feel right, but I agreed to. Boy, I wished I'd followed my instinct; I struggled with what to say. But it showed me that I can't pretend to be someone I'm not.

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